I know it's been 25 years since this book was published, and being an unapologetic Stephen King fan, I'm ashamed to admit I've never successfully tackled the book until now. I wish I hadn't waited so long. This is truly one of his most "complete" books. For such a thick tome, it unspools with frightening rapidity. I found myself listening not only in my car, but between the ramp where I park and the door of my office. The characters are unforgettable and fully-fleshed. I have only two (very) minor observations:
The 11 and 12 year old children depicted in the novel seem too well-spoken and unusually mature for children of that age. Perhaps I was stunted and thick as a child, but I never spoke like the kids in this book do.
The narrator very precisely and completely reproduces all the nuances of "Stuttering Bill's" dialogue. After a few hours, I found this slightly irritating. It's the sort of thing you'd blast through when actually reading the novel, but you're forced to listen to every syllable in the audibook.
But these are VERY minor quibbles and should not detract anyone from this immensely enjoyable and satisfying book.
The crowning achievement of this audiobook is the narration. Steven Weber is simply phenomonal. I don't think I can point to another reader who does such an admirable job of conveying humor, gravitas, urgency, and outright fear as well as Mr. Weber. I've enjoyed his career as an actor and his narration of this lengthy tome only serves to grow my admiration for him.
If you're a King fan and an audiobook fan, this title is a "Must-Have."
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